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Lawyer accused of laundering drug money
Official steps down from Massachusetts GOP post

Wednesday, September 14, 2005; Posted: 2:24 p.m. EDT (18:24 GMT)

What Is This? BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- A lawyer resigned as vice chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party after a federal sting led to money-laundering charges accusing him of offering to "cleanse" drug proceeds for a legal client.

Lawrence Novak was arrested Tuesday at his home in Brockton after investigators said he allegedly offered to launder drug profits for a client awaiting trial on federal trafficking charges. The client is cooperating with investigators.

Federal authorities said they watched Novak, 54, deposit money in a Brockton bank.

Novak made an initial appearance in federal court Tuesday and was released on $25,000 bond. Neither he nor his attorney would comment on the charges.

Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, called for Novak to step down while the investigation continues. Novak resigned his party position Tuesday after his release on bond.

In a statement, the state Republican chairman, Darrell Crate, said the charges are unrelated to Novak's GOP role. Novak was the party's treasurer in the late 1990s.

Novak is accused of encouraging drug defendant Scott Holyoke to sign false affidavits in an attempt to invalidate some of his prior state convictions. The false affidavits were to be used to reduce Holyoke's federal sentence.

Holyoke told Novak that he had more than $100,000 in cash in a safe deposit box, repeatedly telling the lawyer it was drug money, according to an affidavit by Internal Revenue Service agent Lauren Youngquist.

The affidavit said Novak told Holyoke he would take about $60,000 as a legal fee and offered to "clean" the rest of the cash.

Novak is due back in court on October 3. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
 

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I always knew he'd get his some day. Asshole defense attorney ,defending all the local drug dealers. I hope his wig falls off when he gets plowed in the federal pen. Sad thing is that he'll enjoy it. :hump:
 
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